Still no family planning at Southside Health Center
Family planning is still not being offered at the city’s Southside Health Center, nearly a year after the crucial service was disrupted.
The Journal Sentinel first reported months ago that family planning services — as well as cancer screenings — overseen by the troubled Milwaukee Health Department had been interrupted.
Family planning services include testing and treatment for sexuallytransmitted diseases, contraceptives and pap smears.
An internal investigation found personnel issues, staff turnover and the decision to end a contract with a care provider contributed to problems that led to the disruption of services, top health officials said Thursday during a meeting at City Hall.
“There was a rather large (human resources) issue, one out of the soap operas, that resulted in that particular contract” being ended, said Jennifer Freiheit, the city’s new health operations administrator.
“It’s been very confusing where the funding went,” Freiheit said.
She also said her investigation found the Health Department was at the time “operating in a fight or flight” mode and hemorrhaging staff.
Ald. Michael Murphy, who has been pushing for more information about the troubled department, said the situation raises questions about the previous leadership of the health agency.
“Quite honestly it reflects very poorly on the leadership of the Milwaukee Health Department during that time,” he said.
Murphy added that the new leadership has “some tough decisions” to make as the agency is rebuilt.
Ald. Mark Borkowski raised concerns about the agency’s continuing struggles.
“I’m ashamed at us,” he said. “I really am.”